Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A/W Trends #1: Coats

This weirdly humid but horribly rainy weather that has been  on a constant for the last week or so is getting me in the mood for autumn and uni starting again. I was going to do one big blog post on A/W trends but I'm going to split it into several individual posts instead. Coats are like my thing so naturally they get to go first. A coat graces nearly every single outfit I wear in late autumn and winter so I like it to be perfect and usually get a new one every year (or every two years if it was a particular expensive affair).

1970s Luxe

Matthew Williamson, Mulberry, Moschino Cheap & Chic

'Fuzz' sums this trend up better than 'fur' and to me is very 70s inspired. I could image walking down the street in a coat similar to the Matthew Williamson one with orange bell bottoms and platforms with 'Get It On' by T-Rex blasting in the background. I also highly recommend taking a look at Mulberry's latest ad campaign inspired by 'Where the Wild Things Are', I think it is great.

English Heritage

Ralph Lauren, Daks, Vivienne Westwood

English heritage made an appearance in quite a few A/W 2012-13 collections. Forget quilted jackets and Jack Wills, this is all about fine tailoring - dog tooth, tweed and argyll. These kind of coats would look amazing with brogues and statement knitwear, in a similar style to Ralph Lauren.


McQ, Altuzarra, MaxMara

The military coat surfaces every year but slightly different each time. This year the focus appears to be on khaki (such as that seen at Burberry Prorsum, McQ by Alexander McQueen and MaxMara) or sharp black jackets with brass buttons.


Matthew Williamson, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Paul Smith

This is one of my favourite coat trends and the one that I'll probably try and buy into once autumn comes around. I really like the look with a fitted suit underneath similar to what Paul Smith has done above. However, for those that aren't confident fully embracing the masculine trend this winter then a mannish coat paired with a feminine dress would look great, or if you do decide to go for the suit then pair it up with heels.


3.1 Phillip Lim, Jil Sander, Acne

Celine, Balenciaga, Celine

This trend featured so heavily in the fall collections that I had to include more than just a select few designer pieces. For the most part, this is kind of entwined with the 'mannish' trend because of the oversized tailoring of the coats but Jil Sander and Celine managed to put a feminine edge on these masculine shapes by using feminine colours. A few years ago I had a coat from Topshop that would have fit this trend perfectly - I regret getting rid of it now!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Louise Gray for Topshop

When it comes to the Scottish fashion designer Louise Gray, think glitter (LOTS of glitter), fun, colour explosions, clashing prints and organised chaos. Gray has recently joined the likes of Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane and has collaborated with British high street giant, Topshop. Interestingly, it is the first makeup collaboration Topshop have ever done and there is quite a bit of excitement surrounding it.

Louise Gray (image credit)

Louise Gray Fall 2012

The clothing collection is only a very compact one with six pieces but I think that together they sum up Louise Gray's style. A style that has been generating much excitement at LFW since she burst onto the scene in 2007. For me, personally, there are a bit to many sequins going on and I certainly couldn't wear them casually (though I wish I had the guts to!). However, this t-shirt below is amazing and with it's long length I could see it being a perfect dress for a night out with a pair of ruby red heels.

Sequin Long T-Shirt (image credit)

Louise Gray for Topshop trousers

Unsurprisingly, the makeup collection channels Gray's signature eccentric style. It is all about strong colours and adventurous looks. Gray is rarely seen without her strong eye makeup which reminds me of a child that has been let loose on their mother's makeup (in the best possible way!). The collection includes blusher, lipstick, glitter, eye liner, nail varnish and surprisingly even makeup brushes. In an interview for The Sunday Times Gray explained that she wanted everything right down to the packaging to have the wow factor.

Mascara (image credit)

Lipstick in 'Legend' (image credit)

Nail Varnish 'Junkyard' (image credit)

I'm not very adventurous with make-up; liquid eyeliner or a smokey eye on a night out is about as crazy as it gets. However, I'd like to try this collection as perhaps it'd encourage me to change my ways! While I doubt I'll be walking down the street with blue and orange lines around my eyes any time soon, it might encourage me to venture into brighter colours and different looks. I do particularly envy that Gray doesn't care what onlookers think. I also love that she is modelling the collection herself as its a bright and colourful collection so who better to do it!

This collection goes on sale this Friday.

Friday, 10 August 2012

V&A Ballgown Exhibition and a Few Recent Purchases

After blogging about it a while back, I finally got to see the 'Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950' exhibition at the V&A museum in London. The entrance fee is a bit hefty (£7.00 for students, £11 otherwise) but it is so beautifully curated over two floors that I decided to forgive them.


It is located in the middle of the V&A's famous clothing collection. The downstairs is dedicated to 1950 - late 1990s. It features ballgowns from various well known designers and pieces from lesser known designers. However, the focus downstairs was definitely on the occasion and the wearers with dresses that have graced the back of royals and Hollywood greats. Most of the labels detailed who wore them, when, and for which occasion. The cardboard accessories that accompanied some of the dresses were a bit naff but I guess they're not the main focus here. For me, Victor Edelstein's black and red evening gown with the huge bow detailing stole the show.

Diana in the 'Elvis' dress by Catherine Walker

Victor Edelstein's dress in centre (Image credit)

Upstairs was definitely the best part of the exhibition for me. It was full of contemporary ballgowns from the likes of Stella McCartney, Erdem, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano. It was also an opportunity to get my Veruca Salt on, tugging on my boyfriend's sleeve loudly proclaiming 'I WANT it!' while staring longingly over Sarah Burton's feathered piece from Alexander McQueen S/S11.

Alexander McQueen S/S11

Gareth Pugh created a dress specifically for the exhibition. It was an amazing piece crafted out of metallic pieces.

Gareth Pugh (image credit)

If, like me, you're captivated by pieces of clothing that verge on works of art then this exhibition is a must-see. I was surprised by the amount of lesser-known designers involved but some of their pieces outshone the big guns!

In other news, I have acquired a few accessories lately:

Silver origami bird - H&M - £4.99

How lovely is this little necklace?! I've had my eye on both the silver and gold in H&M for a little while and my lovely boyfriend surprised me to this little gem earlier today (before he left for the US, girlfriend woes). Although my gold jewellery collection is slowly growing, I've always been more of a silver person. Do you find you have an allegiance to either silver or gold?

Black wedge pumps - H&M - £19.99

For me these are a kind of cross between a flatform and a wedge, making them acceptable and comfortable to wear during the day - hurrah! The boyfriend contributed to these too which was much appreciated as I've been into H&M at least three times over the past couple of weeks to prance about in them.

Silver bow ring - V&A Museum, London - £7.99

I saw this when I visited the V&A for the ballgown exhibition and was immediately taken with it. If I remember rightly Whistles did a version a while back and either this is a Whistles ring commissioned by the V&A or they've ripped them off... who knows! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Going for gold

In the run up to the Olympics over the last few months (years, even) I've been largely indifferent. I disliked the logo, even more so when I discovered my debit card was graced with an image of it until 2013 and in a very stereotypically British fashion, I had come to expect nothing but hopelessness and disappointment. However, the friday before last I had the night off work and nothing much else to do so I settled myself down in front of my laptop and put on the Opening Ceremony. It helped that I'd heard rumours that Arctic Monkeys, one of my favourite bands, would be playing but otherwise I wasn't expecting much. Despite this, like the rest of the nation I was bowled over. I had been expecting them to rival the Chinese effort at Beijing, which would have been remarkably hard to do, but instead Danny Boyle took it in a completely different direction. It took advantage of our rich history over the last 200 years and the trademark British wit was well placed with appearances from the likes of Mr Bean and the Queen parachuting in. At moment it felt like there was almost too much going on but on the whole, I was really impressed by it. It has set the precedent for what has been one of the most successful Olympics ever for Team GB.

London 2012 opening ceremony

Anyhow, shortly after catching Olympic fever like the plague, me boyfriend's dad rang and invited me to come down to London to watch the Olympics, which was really lovely. Hugo and I went to watch the Volleyball at Earl's court and it was so much fun. I know sweet FA about Volleyball but it was pretty easy to grasp. It is a shame that Team GB lost spectacularly to Australia but the Brazil v. Russia match was a pretty tense one!

Men's Volleyball at the Olympics: Australia vs. Great Britain

Outside Earl's Court

I haven't been home all Summer and I took advantage of a free weekend to get home and see the parents for the first time in over a month. The weekend was spent pretty much consuming all the contents of the fridge (so. much. cheese.) and loafing on the sofa watching the Olympics. 'Super Saturday' was great, I'm so glad Jessica Ennis won after all the pressure mounted on her - here in Sheffield the John Lewis store has adorned it's shop front with a 30ft picture of her! My severe case of Olympics fever means that I will probably go and find the gold letterbox at some point this week as well.

John Lewis in Sheffield

I also finally got to see the Ballgown exhibition at the V&A but I think I'll allow another post for that.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

You slept on Waterloo Station at first...

I don't know if I've been listening to The Jam a little too much over the last few weeks or whatever but the upsurge of high street brands covering the trend 'London Calling' has made me so happy. I've been having a bit of a love affair with London ever since I can remember. I love the place, the people and most of all - the style. I was crushed when I didn't get into uni down there (though my bank account probably thanks me).

To me, this trend is an amalgamation of mod and rocker with a bit of punk for good measure! Think masculine tailoring, teddy boys, paisley print, leather jackets, oversized blazers, brothel creepers, brogues, docs (I could go on and on!)

Punks (image credit)

Mods (image credit)
Mod - taken from ASOS

For this one, I would actually recommend steering clear of the Union Jack print and take bits from each trend.

Would be perfect paired with an oversized black blazer and creepers or brogues

I think of Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn when it comes to the 'London Calling' trend, both are able to do masculine tailoring so well. Though it makes me feel down that Agyness Deyn doesn't really model anymore.. I'll have a Kanye moment and say I'm really happy for you that the acting thing is working out and I'ma let you finish but you were my favourite model of all time *sob*.

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